It's been perhaps 10 months or so since I've attended a proper sound system session. Friday's and Saturday's are normally booked for shows but last weekend we had a gig booking only on the Friday for a change, which can only mean one thing - Time to track down a sound system to attend as a punter rather than performer!
Who should be running a session that night... None other than a firm favourite of mine, Jah Shaka! This was a no-brainer, so off I set from Southampton to Tottenham, London to find the session. 3.5 hours later of trains, night buses and skateboarding though the city I find my good friend Johnny and we dance full-power until 6am.
I realised I'd left my ear plugs in my shirt pocket from the gig on Friday and expected the night would involve a lot of me sticking my fingers in my ears but the session was lovely. The sound wasn't too loud and my ears didn't ring at all the next day. I've attended some sound system sessions such as King Earthquake (clue is in the name), Iration Steppers, Aba Shanti etc when my ears were well and truly pummelled even after wearing good quality ear protection. I see people walking around these sessions with no ear protection and think, 'how are they doing that?!'. I'm all for hearing the music clearly but I also like my ears to work - Good quality ear plugs that filter the uber top end frequencies seem to do the trick.
Jah Shaka ran a nice session and the crowd were really respectful and on good form. The University Of Dub sessions at the Scala in Kings Cross seem to be full of wasted students drinking the Red Stripe dry at the bar along with whatever else they consume on the nights. The Jah Shaka crowd are appreciative of each tune and dance mindfully. No people bumping into you, all over the place. People really dance and let go but in a way that respects the music and the people around them. Shaka played a tune I'm really fond of by Jazbo/Rico Rodriguez, and it was at that point where 'I lost the plot' haha. The power of music took me off on hours of dancing that would put any session down the gym to the test ;)
The next day my good friend and Johnny hung out at his place in Brixton, played music and sat back in the sun and rested after a good night's dance.
...And I did my usual ritual of skating through Brixton weaving in and out of buses...